In 2013, a female orangutan named Cici missed her chance at true freedom when the BOS Foundation team had to postpone her release. Today, Cici is 24 years old and a resident of Kaja Island, where she has lived since 26 November 2018. But her life will change soon.
Cici was initially handed over to the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre by the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of DKI Jakarta on 8 January 2003. She underwent the usual rehabilitation process, which included time spent in both Forest School and on a pre-release island.
Then, in October 2013, Cici and 12 other orangutans were about to embark on their final journey to freedom into the Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan. However, health investigations, including DNA tests, revealed that Cici belonged to the Central Kalimantan subspecies of orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) rather than the East Kalimantan subspecies (Pongo pygmaeus morio).
This revelation changed everything: The BOS team had to postpone Cici’s journey to freedom – a painful decision, given her readiness to survive in the wild. Instead, Cici, alongside orangutans Karen, Roma, Donna, and Marwoto, was relocated to the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre in Central Kalimantan in November 2013 to ensure they could all live in their natural habitat.
The BOS Foundation has carried out these so-called cross-provincial releases multiple times already. However, in the past, the release candidates were orangutans from Central Kalimantan who the BOS team ultimately released in East Kalimantan: Yayang, Sayang, and Diah. Cici’s story is a similar case but with the opposite background to these three orangutans.
Now, Cici and seven other orangutans are finally ready to go home. They will be released into the protected Bukit Batikap Forest after a 10-year rehabilitation process at the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre.
Enjoy your freedom, Cici. We hope this delay to your homecoming makes the moment just that much sweeter!
Once the eight orangutans are free, our work doesn’t end. Our Post-Release-Monitoring team ensures the new arrivals adapt well to their natural habitat. Especially the first three months are critical for their survival. Will you support our rangers? They urgently need new boats and solar energy systems for their remote camps in the rainforest to fulfil their lifesaving task. Every donation makes a difference. Thank you!